"Stories of the Past, Stories of the Present"

November 18, 2020 | Press Release
"Stories of the Past, Stories of the Present"

SEATTLE- To commemorate World AIDS Day, The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center to host a powerful virtual event titled "Stories of the Past, Stories of the Present" from 5 to 6 p.m. on December 1, 2020.

The event will celebrate the recent completion of the first of four artworks that have been commissioned, "In This Way We Loved One Another" by artist Storme Webber, a historical remediation, restoring missing narratives of working-class activists, healers, leaders, witnesses and ancestors lost to the AIDS crisis. The images and narratives were collected through decades of community building and more recent oral histories.

The program will also include stories from community members living with HIV who are part of the "Through Positive Eyes: My Photo, My HIV Story," an upcoming photography and storytelling exhibition at the Gates Foundation Discovery Center.

To register to attend and receive all final event details, please visit cutt.ly/GgNuT1V.

This virtual event will begin with a look at "In This Way We Loved One Another," the first of four permanent installations commissioned for The AMP, now viewable in the Cathy HillenbrandCommunity Room at the Station House Building.

Additionally, The AMP's team will share updates about the remaining three public art installations that will be completed by June 2021. More information about each artist contributing to the project can be found at theamp.org.

Additional program highlights include the following:

o Musical performance by Tory Trujillo

o A song by Patrick Haggerty and Lavender Country

o "Artivists" (artist-activists) sharing stories of living with HIV, from the exhibit "Through Positive Eyes," which "puts the camera in the hands of people most deeply affected by HIV, allowing their voice, experience and point of view to be heard."

o Insights from community leaders of area HIV/AIDS-related organizations There are approximately 38 million people currently living with HIV worldwide, and millions more have been lost to the pandemic. This event, along with the efforts of The AMP and the "Through Positive Eyes" exhibit, seeks to raise awareness and honor those that have died or are currently living with HIV.

The AMP project is funded by community partners, public funds and private donations in order to make its vision come to life. With the community's help, The AMP will ensure that the emotional and historical journey of the HIV/AIDS crisis becomes the new narrative. Donations can be made at theamp.org/donate.

In addition, the National AIDS Memorial is hosting a 50-state AIDS Memorial Quilt virtual exhibition. The AMP's website will feature a selection of beautiful quilt blocks, and an individualized narrative will accompany each curated display. The AMP will be one of many panel makers, individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations from across the country to participate. This is the first-ever 50-state exhibition. More details can be found at www.aidsmemorial.org/virtual2020.

Other World AIDS Day happenings on December 1 include a locally based online event at 9 a.m. PST hosted by Gay City. More details are available at gaycity.org. At 10 a.m. PST the National AIDS Memorial will present "World AIDS Day 2020: A National Conversation," with Anthony S. Fauci, MD and David D. Ho, MD. More details are at www.aidsmemorial.org/wad2020. At 11 a.m. PST the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee will host a special service to commemorate World AIDS Day online at facebook.com/UMCglobalaidsfund AND at umc.org/en/content/world-aids-day-2020-worship.

The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway is a public art installation located along the plaza above the Capitol Hill Link light rail station and Cal Anderson Park. The installation is designed to take visitors through an emotional and historic journey related to the AIDS epidemic in Seattle and King County, from the early 1980s to today. Works of physical and digital art, created by artists of different backgrounds and perspectives, tell stories of remembrance, reflection, creativity and action related to this public health crisis and the community's ongoing response. The AMP will be complete in 2021. For more information, visit theamp.org.

The Gates Foundation Discovery Center is a catalyst to educate, inspire and motivate local and global awareness and action. Through exhibits and programs, the Discovery Center convenes and connects people to relevant topics, stories and resources to inspire action in Seattle and beyond. More information is at discovergates.org.

"Through Positive Eyes: My Photo, My HIV Story" features photography, stories, sculpture and video created by people living with HIV/AIDS in 11 cities across the world. In each city, a photography and storytelling workshop was conducted, putting cameras in the hands of people most deeply affected by HIV. Combined, these works show a broad picture of the epidemic, organized around themes such as the "Burden of Stigma," "Stories My Body Tells Me," "Alive and Well," and "What Makes Me Laugh." The images and stories range from everyday life to joy, grief, solitude and resilience.

The exhibit's photos and stories, from people living with HIV/AIDS in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Mumbai, Bangkok, Port-Au-Prince, London, Durban, and Seattle, coalesce around a belief that challenging the stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS is one of the most effective methods for combating the epidemic.

Courtesy of The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway